The future Buddha, the fifth of this kappa (Bu.xxvii.21).
According to the Cakkavatti Síhanáda Sutta, he will be born, when human beings will live to an age of eighty thousand years, in the city of Ketumatí (present Benares), whose king will be the Cakkavattí Sankha. Sankha will live in the fairy palace where once dwelt King Mahápanadá, but later he will give the palace away and will himself become a follower of Metteyya Buddha (D.iii.75ff).
The Anágatavamsa (J.P.T.S.1886, pp.42, 46ff., 52; DhSA.415 gives the names of his parents) gives further particulars. Metteyya will be born in a very eminent brahmin family and his personal name will be Ajita. Metteyya is evidently the name of his gotta. For eight thousand years he will live the household life in four palaces Sirivaddha, Vaddhamána, Siddhattha and Candaka - his chief wife being Candamukhí and his son Brahmavaddhana. Having seen the four signs while on his way to the park, he will be dissatisfied with household life and will spend one week in practicing austerities. Then he will leave home, travelling in his palace and accompanied by a fourfold army, at the head of which will be eighty-four thousand brahmins and eighty four thousand Khattiya maidens. Among his followers will be Isidatta and Púrana, two brothers, Játimitta, Vijaya, Suddhika and Suddhaná, Sangha and Sanghá, Saddhara, Sudatta, Yasavatí and Visákhá, each with eighty four thousand companions. Together they will leave the household and arrive on the same day at the Bodhi tree. After the Enlightenment the Buddha will preach in Nágavana and King Sankha will, later, ordain himself under him. Metteyya's father will be Subrahmá, chaplain to King Sankha, and his mother Brahmavatí. His chief disciples will be Asoka and Brahmadeva among monks, and Padumá and Sumaná among nuns. Síha will be his personal attendant and his chief patrons Sumana, Sangha, Yasavatí and Sanghá. His Bodhi will be the Nága tree. After the Buddha's death, his teachings will continue for one hundred and eighty thousand years.
According to the Mahávamsa (Mhv.xxxii.81f.; see Mil.159), Kákavannatissa and Viháramahádeví, father and mother of Dutthagámani, will be Metteyya's parents, Dutthagámani himself will be his chief disciple and Saddhátissa his second disciple, while Prince Sáli will be his son.
At the present time the future Buddha is living in the Tusita deva-world (Mhv.xxxii.73). There is a tradition that Nátha is the name of the future Buddha in the deva world.
The worship of the Bodhisatta Metteyya seems to have been popular in ancient Ceylon, and Dhátusena adorned an image of him with all the equipment of a king and ordained a guard for it within the radius of seven yojanas (Cv.xxxviii.68).
Dappula I. made a statue in honour of the future Buddha fifteen cubits high (Cv.xlv.62). It is believed that Metteyya spends his time in the deva-world, preaching the Dhamma to the assembled gods, and, in emulation of his example, King Kassapa V. used to recite the Abhidhamma in the assemblies of the monks (Cv.lii.47). Parakkamabáhu I. had three statues built in honour of Metteyya (Cv.lxxix.75), while Kittisirirájasíha erected one in the Rajata-vihára and another in the cave above it (Cv.c.248,259). It is the wish of all Buddhists that they meet Metteyya Buddha, listen to his preaching and attain to Nibbána under him. See, e.g., J.vi.594; MT. 687; DhSA.430.